Back when Schoolly D. (born Jesse Weaver Jr.) was leaving his mark on the world of hip hop as the pioneer of gangsta rap with tracks like “P.S.K. What Does It Mean?,” he was “eating like two cheesesteaks and a chicken everyday.” Severe asthma often kept him indoors as a kid, which is how he became interested in food. “At some point I said fuck it, if I’m spending all this time in the house, I’m going to learn all this shit about cooking.” As a grown man approaching the age of 50, he’s focused on eating healthier and eats for three reasons: health, sex and vanity. “Health first, because if you’re not healthy, you can’t have good sex. Sex, because I’m a horny bastard, and vanity, because if you don’t look good, you ain’t going to get no sex.” In this edition of the Grub Street Diet, wherein a food fanatic documents his dining experiences for a week, Schoolly explains the magical properties of turmeric, why he eats breakfast twice daily and how pizza is the perfect remedy for feeling what he calls “cooked out.”
Friday, August 6
I start every morning the same way: turmeric tea, with lemon, cayenne and agave. Turmeric is used in curry and its like magic; it makes you feel better. It takes the dullness out of your skin. It helps fight cancer. I put some cayenne in because it (snaps) just jumps your heart in the morning. The lemon cleans your colon out and your stomach, and a little bit of agave just sweetens it up a little. I’m telling you man, you feel high - you have like a natural high - after drinking that. It helps you as you get older - you know, I’m almost fifty. I always had good supple skin, but you know, after a couple of hard nights, Schoolly doesn’t look so well. I’m telling you man, this has changed my life.
Every morning I drink the turmeric tea and eat some fruit and then I do yoga. Then I eat something right after yoga, so that’s why I have two breakfasts. On Friday I made what I call funky french toast, sourdough French toast with caramelized bananas, apples and cranberries, New England maple syrup and turkey sausage.
For a snack I ate Trader Joe’s sardines with olive oil and peanut sauce. The sardines are good for your skin, your heart and your brain.
For lunch, I had petite peas, lentils and a seafood medley sautéed with olive oil and red pepper. Lentils are good after exercising when your body craves protein. If you don’t give it that protein, you just wasted your time. So I usually eat lentils after doing something physical.
For dinner I cooked beer soaked tilapia with coconut crust, gingered French beans, coconut brown rice with lentils and Thai basil. I try to eat mostly vegetables during the week, but Fridays we always have fish. The beer makes the crust on the tilapia crunchier and gives it a really cool flavor. It’s unbelievable. The kids love it, and if kids eat it, you know its good, right?
For dessert we ate cake from a gig I had last week. The baker personally decorated it with old school designs - Kangol hat, gold chains, etc. I froze the leftovers and have been munching on them since.
Saturday, August 7
Turmeric tea and a banana.
For breakfast I had iced coffee, spring mix salad with apples, homemade Dijon and balsamic dressing, Gorgonzola cheese and last night’s fish reheated in the oven.
I snacked on sardines, fage yogurt, blueberries, flax seeds, my wife Jennifer’s grandma’s New England raspberry jam with New England cranberry maple syrup drizzled on top.
For dinner we went to Peace A Pizza. That’s our go-to pizza place because it’s near our house and they have this arugula, mozzarella and tomato pizza that’s really fucking good. The eggplant pizza is awesome and my daughter loves the barbecue chicken pizza. With all the fucking cooking I do, sometimes I just get cooked out and want to get a pizza.
Later we went to the movies to see The Kids Are All Right. I made my own popcorn with sweet cream butter. We found lavender blueberry chocolate at Whole Foods. We always go to Whole Foods before we got to movies and grab some snacks.
Sunday, August 8
Turmeric tea, banana and dark chocolate.
For breakfast I ate poached eggs over salad with jalapeno cheddar cheese, turkey sausage and grapefruit with fair trade Kenya coffee. After yoga, I had some fage yogurt with flax seeds, blueberries and raspberry jam, and a glass of mango lemonade with a tablespoon of fish oil.
On way home from Trader Joe’s, I munched on organic Trader Joe’s corn chips.
For dinner I cooked wild salmon with truffle oil, shallots and peanut sauce, roasted broccoli with sea salt and olive oil, my secret sweat and spicy potatoes (my wife says there sinfully good), French bean and beet salad with gorgonzola and basil from our garden. We opened a bottle of Chardonnay too.
We got the salmon, because Jennifer really loves it. I wanted to try something different. I’m always looking for new combinations, and when we go to restaurants and we like the food, I always ask what was in it. Back at home I will try it out. So it’s a lot of, like, experimenting. Truffle oil is one of things that if you like and know it you can taste it and tell what it is. But if you’ve never had it, it’s like a strange and different taste. Just a little goes a long way and she really digs it.
For dessert I made S’mores, with Trader Joe’s cinnamon graham crackers and dark chocolate.
Monday, August 9
Turmeric tea and a banana.
Eggs with salmon, jalapeno cheddar with salad and turkey sausage.
Later I had some blueberries with cinnamon and agave.
I snacked on some sardines with homemade hot sauce and olive oil, and three cinnamon graham crackers.
I was negotiating some contracts, it wasn’t going quickly enough and it got me feeling kind of down. I wanted some good comfort food. So for dinner I cooked herb-roasted chicken with cornbread stuffing. It’s an ongoing family favorite. Everybody in my family makes, but we all make it differently. To go with it, I made broccoli, sweet potatoes with marshmallows, arugula, beet and French bean salad with Gorgonzola. I drank two glasses Chardonnay.
Later I had some flax seeds and Whole Foods limeade, four cinnamon graham crackers and my wife’s homemade chamomile, lavender and sage tea.
Tuesday, August 10
Turmeric tea and a banana.
I ate three multigrain crackers with jalapeno cheddar cheese, and mango black tea.
Later I had some leftovers - last night’s chicken and broccoli.
For lunch I had Trader Joe’s wild mushroom and black truffle flatbread with arugula and basil from the garden.
I shared a blueberry tart and blueberry muffin with my wife from the Green Bean Coffee.
For dinner we went to Zama. Our daughter loves it. We love it. I really love the way they do eel, so I ordered the Eel and Avocado Roll. We also had the Scottish Salmon Teriyaki, Tuna Sashimi, and the Yellowtail and cucumber roll. I had six oysters, because that goes with my whole philosophy on eating, and Wasabi Lobster Roll, which is Zama’s signature dish. We also drank Tenryo Koshu Junmai Daiginjyo sake.
Back at home we had blueberries and tea for dessert.
Read More: The Philadelphia Diet Archive